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Feb 26th
Home Columns Ike Señeres The Transformation of the Filipino Nation
The Transformation of the Filipino Nation PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - Ike Señeres
Written by Ike Señeres   
Monday, 20 December 2010 11:23



By Ike Señeres                                                                                        


S mall is beautiful and big outcomes start from small beginnings. Trees come from seeds, and nations are born out of the union of tribes. Trees form the forests and the forests form the ecosystems that support the sustainability of life. Somewhere, somehow there is a connection between all these and the principle of subsidiarity (sic), and it is up to us to find the connection so that we could learn the lessons that could apply to our own survival as a nation.


There are many ways of defining subsidiarity, but we could simplify the definition by saying that subsidiarity means doing at a smaller or lower level what could be done at a bigger or higher level, so that in the end, in the final reckoning, it is the totality of the actions at the smaller level that add up to the attainment of the goals of the aggregate body or institution.


As we look at the problems that are confronting our nations today, it would seem that our condition is hopeless, because the problems appear to be too big for us to solve, considering the magnitudes that these problems have reached. Perhaps we often wonder how to start or where to start, and to that I say that we should start with small solutions, in a way taking small steps that could lead to big results.


In a trip to Japan many years ago, I saw many groups of programmers in several floors, all working in a big building. I was told that all of them were programming for only one software project. In other words they were all programming small parts of a software product that will eventually be combined into one big program. The program was simply too big for just one programmer to do, and the simple solution was for many programmers to work on the same program, following one design, one master plan.


In that same trip to Japan, I also learned that the big auto makers there are not really making all the parts that go into a car model. They just make the designs of the many small parts that are made by small suppliers in many places all over the country. Eventually, all these parts are assembled in one place to form the one product that is based on one design.


At this point, it should be very clear to us now that subsidiarity could work towards our advantage, but there is a condition, and that condition is that we should have a design, in other words a plan, a master plan to follow, so that those who will be acting and working at a smaller and lower level will be synchronized and in tune with everyone else who is working at all levels, especially those who are at the higher levels, and who will eventually be responsible for putting it together into one big outcome.


The Goal of the Corinthian Coffee Clutch


T he transformation of our nation is the goal of the Corinthian Coffee Clutch, a private volunteer think tank that is now known as ISIP BAYAN. As our name suggests, we think for the nation, having been formed as a group that will contribute to nation building. As a nonprofit think tank, we could do everything that a commercial think tank could do, except that we do it for free.


As a think tank, it is our role to produce plans and designs that lower levels and small organizations could follow. In the process of doing that however, we have to start with pilot projects that could serve as the proofs of concepts and the showcases of our ideas, pilots that could eventually be rolled out nationally by the national government agencies (NGAs) or by the local government units (LGUs).


As part of our work process, we form working committees that are assigned to specific pilot projects. As of now, we have already formed separate committees for Health, Education and Environment. Our Health Committee is now working on the transformation of an old motor hotel into a charity hospital, in cooperation with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). Our Environment Committee is working on the transformation of the Pasig tributaries in cooperation with the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). Our Education Committee is working on the transformation of old school buildings in cooperation with the National Development Support Command (NADESCOM) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).


In the past, we have been accused of doing nothing but talking. We might have been guilty of that before, but we found a way out of that accusation. We now invite all those who are still talking but not acting to join us. Have coffee with us! # # #


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Last Updated on Friday, 07 January 2011 13:57

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